I know exactly the place!
Good morrow, yes good day to thee! How comest thou hither on this merry day? Ah, you seek a tale of romance and betrayal…a tyrant king, bewitching’s, beheadings, a church in reform…well…allons-y!
Is there a period of history more steeped in romance and drama than Tudor England? I can’t think of one. The clothes, language, music, it all seems magical to me, so when Fiona asked which one place in time we would ask the Doctor in his TARDIS to take us my mind immediately sprung to the court of Henry VIII. Oh to meet that man (sounds like something River would say), to see for myself what it was about him which first enchanted and then terrified the world, what an experience that would be! Narrowing it further than that, to a specific period of his life is far trickier.
I think it would have to be a bit of a ‘Girl in the Fireplace’ kind of scenario. That way I could first see the boy, the second born prince born to a life of privilege and no responsibility (think Harry but with jousting and pantaloons). Then parley with the young man, besotted with his new bride (his brother’s widow) who leaves the boy ‘Harry’ behind to become Henry VIII, King of England. Methinks I may request an audience with Anne Boleyn; to see this woman for whom the Church was reformed. Was she a fabled beauty? What was it about her that was so bewitching? Half the history books tell us it was her who was ambitious, wise and flirtatious, the rest say it was her uncle who coached and cajoled her into the Kings bed, meaning her to succeed where her sister had failed. To see Henry and Anne together…would that help me to understand it? Was it love or just a game (did he ask her out for texting and scones?)? How was it this girl rose so high and fell so far all for the want of a male heir? I imagine attending a banquet, sampling sweetmeats and watching as a seven bird roast was carved (imagine, a turkey or a swan, then each smaller bird goes inside a larger bird till at the heart of the dish is a quail, said to be the most succulent – swoon!). I should like also to attend the court of the tyrant king, after his accident, when pain and fear made Henry angered and those around him lived affright.
Yea, verily this period of history fascinates me, Henry VIII and his wives. This man who begins charismatic, attractive and accomplished only to become lustful, egotistical, insecure and autocratic. He was apparently an author, composer, master jouster and hunter (or are those just the records one keeps of a king like Henry?) as well as father to arguably Britain’s most famous queens. The child he shunned and evicted from court because of the shame of her sex and sins of her mother. Such drama! Such passion! Just brilliant!
“Think you’ve seen it all? Think again. Outside those doors, we might see anything. We could find new worlds; terrifying monsters; impossible things. And if you come with me… nothing will ever be the same again”
This post is part of the Twitter Blogathon.